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DeKalb County, GA: Shortage of SPED teachers; kids with behavioral problems suffer

Oct 31, 2019, Atlanta Journal Constitution: Some parents say special ed students slighted as DeKalb fills shortage DeKalb County School District said this year it would not let a critical special education teacher shortage affect learning, but some parents say their special-needs students are not consistently receiving guaranteed specialized instruction. Among the concerns early into this school year are teachers not identifying student behaviors that could trigger outbursts, some students missing co-teachers or aides to assist with individualized learning and officials disregarding the need for additional time during testing. “My job is to get quality teachers in there,” she said. District officials did not respo nd to questions about the concerns parents raised about specialized education plans not being followed. Taylor said her son suffers from dyslexia. And because of a short-term working memory, his education plan calls for homework assignments to be communicated with his parents…. Teresa Wright Johnson’s 14-year-old, diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, has an IEP that affords her more time for assignments, sometimes breaking up assignments into parts. The teen understands what assistance she is guaranteed through her education plan. Her daughter’s teacher also is good at communication, Johnson said. … “If the teacher is not aware, (the students) are not getting the accommodations they need to be successful,” she said. You run into a lot more behavioral issues. Emotionally, it’s not good for that child, then that disciplinarian stuff comes up in school.”…
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